The Boston Globe taps ICS Director Kevin F. Hallock for insight on "Why do people earn what they earn?"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Waiters and waitresses at high-end restaurants earn considerably more than cooks. Neil Swidey of the Boston Globe sought the insight of Kevin F. Hallock, ICS Director and chairman of the Cornell economics department, on this "kitchen conundrum."

Cook wages are "essentially a training wage," explained Hallock. If a cook wants to become a big-name chef, the first step is to become an apprentice of a notable chef despite the low wage. This is not the case for wait-staff, whose gratuity tips may be a larger share of their take-home than the hourly wage.